15 books that had some sort of effect on me
with thanks to stephanie’s pillowbook.
‘The Thackery T. Lambshead pocket guide to eccentric and discredited diseases’( complete with illuminating illustrations )
Jeff VanderMeer’s delightful anthology details such illnesses as the malady of ghostly cities. More important, it’s a book that excites real envy in those permitted to glimpse its pages.The ultimate in loo books.
‘The Good Soldier’ by Ford Madox Ford is the saddest story ever told, and one of the great transatlantic novels.
‘Independent People’ by Halldor Laxness because sheep matter, and because here the nobel went to a deserving author.
‘Empire of the senseless’, by Kathy Acker. I am a member of the facebook group that wants to be Kathy Acker’s incestuous lovechild. Please do not make mock of a t-grrl’s innocent desires.
‘Dhalgren’ by Samuel R. Delany because it’s the best description of the real nature of the catastrophe.
‘Levana’ is de Quincey’s prose Xanadu.
‘Mirror to the sky’ by Mark Geston as an antidote to the shallow optimism of Dostoevsky.
‘Lud-in-the-mist’ by Hope Mirrlees is the finest fantasy ever to come out of the Bloomsbury group.
‘The Magic Mountain’ by Thomas Mann and the rush of the accelerating fall of the illusions of post 1848 Europe.
‘Queen of the states’ by Josephine Saxton for her intelligence, empathy, feminism and abundant merriment.
‘Engine Summer’ by John Crowley and a well of feeling before he got lost in the intricacies of Little Big.
’60 stories’ by Donald Barthelme, if only for ‘the great hug’. America’s premier fabulist.
‘Oliver Twist’ by Charles Dickens. Before reading this as a child I was lucky enough to have read most of Jane Austen, some Thackeray, Kipling, Trollope et al, so I was not permanently put off the 19th century novel by this vomit inducing mix of offensive caricature and sentimental verbiage. Both as child and teacher, I have found nothing to match it for the destruction of the desire to read.
‘Alice through the looking glass’ by Lewis Carroll in memory of mirrors unsuccessfully attempted.
‘The devils of Loudun’ by Aldous Huxley for an enlightening historical work, whether thesis or novel.
I calculated recently that, since birth, I’ve averaged about 1.75 books and 2.5 newpapers, or magazines, every day. I have a library with over 20,000 books and far too much time on my hands. Maybe next time 15 non-fiction.